Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Prayer meeting

We walked into absolute silence, my jandals making the loudest echo in the wooden cathedral. I slipped them off, thinking of Moses in front of the burning bush.

The silence continued as we joined the group - some seated, some kneeling, some prostrate on their faces - at the front. Eventually someone spoke. She read a passage of Scripture where Jesus is greeted by a crowd. "What would you do if Jesus walked in the door tonight?"

Long, slightly uncomfortable pause as we realised this would take real thought, and the courage to express what was in our hearts as individuals. There were no rules here. Real dangerous territory.

Gradually the responses came. A song, a phrase. One person ran towards the door, thanking Jesus and bowing down to him.

For me, my response was shock and awe. Words would be so cheap if the creator of the universe walked in the door. I just gave him the biggest smile I could, and thanked him quietly.

Later on, if anyone had a message from the Lord to share, they were encouraged to share it. One person felt that not only did Jesus want to come in and be with us, he also wanted to bring gifts.

Then - this is funny - Luke, the pastor, picked up a plastic bag and started handing fruit out. Their neighbours had given them this big bag of fruit, and this is what it was for. What a brilliant moment. God has such a cool sense of humour. I got an apple.

It's funny; we'd resisted going along to these Tuesday night prayer meetings because we felt we needed something more like a homegroup, something with community. But here we found such wonderful, real, vulnerable community. Sometimes we don't appreciate what's right in front of us.

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